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Solar Farm – Further Update

The application to build a large-scale Solar Farm at Rode was considered at last month’s Somerset East Planning Committee meeting. The Committee members debated the merits of the application at some length, and ultimately decided there were some key elements that they were unhappy with, and therefore deferred a final decision, in order to allow the applicant to address those issues. The reasons for deferral were for:

• reconsideration of access via Monkley Lane, and
• reconsideration of the scale of the development in terms of the quantum of the application scheme and its impact on the landscape and heritage assets, in particular the conservation area and listed buildings.

The applicant has now made a small number of further changes to the scheme, in particular Monkley Lane is no longer planned to be used during the construction phase of the Solar Farm. In addition, the applicant has slightly increased the “buffer zone” surrounding Flexham Farm, proposes to increase the level of screening along a section of Bradford Road, and plans to reduce the size of the inverter stations.

Overall, it appears the proposed development is substantially the same size (the additional documentation refers to a site of 79.3 hectares, which is in fact slightly larger than the 74.3 hectares noted in the applicant’s Design & Access Statement, submitted in November 2023).

The information is now available on the Somerset Council website, and a new consultation process has commenced, with a deadline of 18th June. All the documentation in connection with the proposed development, including the most recent amendments, is available on the Somerset Council website: https://www.somerset.gov.uk/planning-buildings-and-land/view-and-comment-on-a-planning-application/
[On the SC website, go to “Planning, buildings and land”, then select “View or comment on a planning application”, choose “Mendip”, then go to “Find an application”. The application reference is 2023/2183/FUL].

Rode Parish Council had made a further submission to Somerset Council in respect of this latest consultation, and this response can be downloaded below:

The Parish Council would encourage local residents to respond to the proposed changes.

5 June 2024
Last Updated
17 June 2024
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